The mayor is still going to Japan:
Mayor Karl Dean is traveling to Japan as a guest of the Japanese Government today through March 20 to explore continued economic development opportunities between the city of Nashville and Japan.
This trip has been scheduled for several weeks. Following the news this morning of the historic earthquake in Japan, the mayor conferred with the Consul General of Japan in Nashville before proceeding with the trip. Consul General Hiroshi Sato ensured Mayor Dean he would not be in the way. While the earthquake may require some changes to his itinerary, most of the cities the mayor plans to visit have not been heavily impacted by the disaster.
During his visit, Dean will meet with representatives from several Japanese companies with a significant presence in the Nashville area, including Bridgestone, Nissan and Gibson Japan. He will also learn about mass transportation alternatives being utilized in Japanese cities to benefit his work with the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus and the Transit Alliance to implement a true regional mass transit system in the Nashville area. Also, Dean will visit the city of Kamakura to work on increasing cultural and civic relations between that city and Nashville.
“Nashville is increasingly becoming an international city and international companies play a significant role in our local economy – Japanese companies specifically,” Dean said. “This visit solidifies our city’s relationship with the Office of the Consulate-General of Japan that is located in Nashville, and will hopefully allow me to bring back new ideas and new opportunities to our city as we continue to stay focused on economic development and job creation as a major priority.”
Traveling as a guest of the Japanese Government, the mayor’s trip will incur no cost to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville.